Sunday & Monday – at home :-)

The weather has turned much colder.
We have been very spoilt this winter so far.
It has been much wetter than usual but not as cold.

I all of a sudden realised that we are now just over 3 weeks from the shortest day and that the sun has gone from the house.
I have not been home much over the past month so the inevitable has just snuck up on me.
We now have about 6 weeks with no sun.
The fires are both being kept going and I have just turned on the hall heater cuz it was like an ice box down the bedroom end of the house.

Sunday was very much a blob out day.
I am having major neck and back pain which is causing headaches.
I can endure it mostly without pain killers but by the arvo I resorted to taking something.
It didn’t help a lot though

I spent several hours sleeping and reading on the sofa.
Eilidh was reading on the other one – but when I looked over she was also sleeping!

Graham came around for fellowship and lunch.
Then he finished nailing down the bedroom floor he laid over a month back.
It hasn’t dried as much as he hoped so it may have to have more done to it later on.

Seb & Phoebe stayed for Sunday night dinner and then headed out to Havelock.
Phoebe is Seb’s driver at the moment

Mahalia gave me a wonderful head, face & back massage before she went to bed.
It was lovely and allowed me to sleep well.

Tim spent most of the past two days putting carpet into that room and Azzan’s ‘new’ room.
There is no underfelt so that will have to be redone as soon as Tim locates some.
In the meantime though Azzan is delighted to be able to move into his room.
He has been camping in Shanni’s room – which has not really suited either of them – despite the fact that when he was a baby he slept with her for months, if not years.

Shanni & I moved his set of drawers in and then decided his bed would fit in under his table.
Tim altered the legs under it so now there is only 1 instead of heaps.
And because he is still not too tall it fits under without cramping his style!
He has a high bunk too so he alternates where he sleeps depending on his mood.
After sorting all his clothes and putting them away tidily into the drawers I left him to unpack and sort out all his treasures.

His bookcase was painted the same yellow as his door and he decided he wanted it ‘right there’ on his glittery blue wall!
He has another book case built into the wall on the opposite side of the room.
He asked me if he could put books in there.
I was side-tracked and said yes without giving to much though beyond that he was putting his own books in there.
When I checked up on him a bit later on her had stripped out heaps of books from the hall bookcase which I have sorted into authors and types.
I had to put the brakes on him and sort out the ones he could keep and the ones which are beyond him yet.
Mind you – there doesn’t seem to be many books beyond him these days
His latest focus is the human body and procreation.
The library certainly had many books on this topic which is keeping him happy at present.
He is only 8 but has a yearning to know things beyond his years
I am finding that I have to be honest with him and not try and hide things just because we think he is too young.
Sometimes answering his questions is a bit tricky – esp when he asks in front of a crowd.
I am trying to teach him to be a little more discreet and come to me in private

He was happily engrossed in a ‘Captain Underpants‘ book when I went to say good night.
He still has lots to sort through but at least the mess in the hall is lessening.

Mahalia also spent time sorting her room.
She had only just moved in when we went off to town so it was still in a major pickle.
She was happy to have some of her pictures up on the walls again and very proud of the placement of them – ‘not too crowded Mummy’.

Of course I had to take a photo of Shanni’s room too.
They all have very individual rooms – very much them!

I had to have words with a certain 15yr old because of his lack of initiative & attentiveness towards his school work.
He has lost his laptop for now until he starts showing some responsibility.
Playing computer games is way too absorbing and monopolising of his time.
It is not easy being a parent sometimes and it is too easy to spoil and not to make the hard calls.
I have really been trying everything lately and finally had to put my foot down

The breadmaker has broken down so Eilidh made some Artisan bread.
It was delicious.
We had a late lunch so we could enjoy it.
There was not a lot left!

Mahalia cooked most of the dinner with Eilidh’s help.
She made a delicious fish dish in our new frypan.
They also stuffed one of Shanni’s marrows.
Eilidh had never seen a marrow before so enjoyed the preparing and eating experience.
I chucked some pumpkin on to boil and some brown rice in the rice cooker.

I headed off to bed around 9pm.
I have a new stash of books so a good reason to get to bed early

Saturday – finally a day at home :-)

I spent Saturday trying to get the huge mountain of washing done.
I thought I had plenty to do just from unpacking all of our bags.
But when I went to put a load in the dryer I found a very large load of very damp and extremely smelly sheets and towels.
They had been in there a while and had not been dried properly because it was too big a load.
So I had to rewash them in 2 loads.
There was boxes of veges to unpack but very little fridge space for them.
Thankfully it is colder now so some of them can sit in the wash house until Seb takes his food to work with him on Sunday night.

Mahalia & Azzan were extremely pleased to be together again and were having a lot of fun sorting out their jelly beans from the Candy Shop.
They were also helping each other unpack and clean up their rooms etc.
Mahalia was delightedly showing me that she had been practising & could play more of her piano piece

I made soup for lunch and cleaned up around the kitchen.
Tim & Mahalia had obviously been too busy outside to be doing much indoors.
She hadn’t even unpacked her town bags so that was more washing.
And despite the breeze I didn’t even consider putting any on the line – it was all a bit much really
I just wanted to get it done and dried and away.

I also decided that I seriously need to start back on Weight Watchers again.
I have had such a bad few years emotionally that my weight has skyrocketed beyond what it was when I began losing 4 years ago.
Very depressing.
My Dr had told me to not even think about trying a few months ago when I was at rock bottom.
But I can’t do it any longer.
Especially as my winter clothes just don’t fit.
So I took the plunge, pushed the buttons, paid my 3 months and joined up again.
So here’s to trying again!

Eilidh went through all my knitting needles cuz she is going to knit a top for me.
We got some wool at Spotlight on Friday.
This is what it looks like but mine will be multi coloured without pockets.

When Mahalia saw what she was doing she got all excited and remembered when Megan taught her to knit several years ago.
Next thing Eilidh had both the girls started and the were sitting around having a great old knitting circle!
Shanni was also having fun with all the new embroidery threads I had bought for her.
We found some in the bargain bin at Spotlight, so she had the table covered with them and all her beads and necklace making stuff.

I tried to get some things done in the study.
There is a big pile up of mail to wade through.
Payback for being away I guess
I was planning on having an arvo sleep but ended up helping Seb with banking etc.
At least the study was warm.
It was freezing everywhere else.
The temperature has really dropped since we got home.
Tim has put an extra heater in here for me which makes it a much nicer environment to work in but it also makes the rest of the house feel so much colder.

While I was away Tim discovered that when the study got flooded from the heavy rain the carpet had gotten wet too.
He had pulled the desk out and moved things to be able to dry it out for me.
I am so pleased he was able to do this while I was away but I now have multiple piles to sort through to find stuff.

After dinner Tim put the kids to bed while we did dishes and more washing – the pile of dirty washing has diminished but the pile of clean yet to be folded is growing – deal with that later!

Then Eilidh, he & I watched The King’s Speech.
I had had it on pre-order at The Warehouse so brought it home with me.
It was really good.

Friday 27th in Nelson

Frances & John are cleaning out their place and getting rid of heaps of stuff.
John presented Nathan with a set of braces and a hat.
Nathan was taking Seb’s car and going to do his volunteering at The Wood.
I thought he really looked the part.

Afterwards he was meeting up with Paul and having a banjo lesson and then helping Seb & Phoebe to juggle cars.
Seb now has no licence  for 6 months so he has to get his cars organised.
Phoebe drove up so her car was in the equation too.
I left them to sort that mission

The rest of us packed up and headed into town an hour later.
I had time to zip over to Tahunanui and get rid of the gas oven Cat had asked me to bring over and to also go back to the Auto Transmission guys who serviced the Terrano a few weeks ago.
They just had to tweak something as it was not running through the gears properly.
Apparently it takes time to get them to settle in after a major service.

Then I dropped Eilidh & the kids at the library while I went to see my councilor.
After that I had a few things to do in town.
We decided that the Baked Potato stand looked very appealing so while Shanni got them for lunch I shot up to see the lawyer.

Then it was back to the house to pack up and leave.
We got to Victoria’s at 3pm.
I was starving so was glad to finally be able to sit and eat my luke warm stuffed baked potato and chat with Victoria while the kids played.
Another friend arrived with her 4 children.
They were all crazy – running around like mad critters.
Azzan was all read and sweat glistened when he stopped in for a drink!

I was feeling really tired so just stopping and sitting made me not want to get back into the car in a hurry.
But Shanni was stressing about getting home so we left just after 4pm.
The kids connected themselves to the dvd player and Eilidh and I were able to talk in peace.
The drive home was relatively uneventful.
The rain had not created too many problems along the way.
The main problem now is that the council has spread freshly cut gravel on the road and it is very sharp resulting in a lot of flat tyres
Tim had warned us so we were driving carefully.
We came upon Danny & Lyn changing a tyre so I was praying hard that we wouldn’t get one too.

Seb, Nathan & Phoebe had not long arrived home when we got there so we were all unloading and juggling vehicles at the back door

I got the kids fed & headed towards bed and then made poached eggs on toast for Eilidh & myself.

Torrential Thursday

We woke to heavy rain.
Actually more like a torrential downpour.
I sat in bed checking out the news and weather on my laptop.
There was flooding and roads were blocked between us, Nelson & home.

We got ourselves up and packed and waited in the hope that the rain would stop before loading the Terrano.
It really didn’t slow much so Nathan & Shoshannah began the rather wet job of transporting the gear out to the car and loading it up.
Just before we left we got word to say the 2:40pm ferry we were booked on was now rescheduled to 4pm.
Oh well, not a lot we could do so we carried on.
The rain did ease a little so we said our goodbyes to Owen & Hanne and headed south to Wellington.
Managed to find my way to the Correspondence School without any difficulty.
This time we were meeting Nathan’s English teacher.
He took us to the cafeteria and we chatted about the curriculum over hot chocolates.
Once we had sorted everything he then took us to the library so Nathan could get a membership sorted.
We lost Azzan – he was in 2nd heaven trolling along the shelves checking out all the books there.
We managed to prise him away and left to go find Eilidh.
I was lucky enough to find a loading zone park opposite David’s work so waited for them to bring down her bags and we squeezed her in and headed off to Te Papa.
My plan was to get an undercover, out of the rain, carpark and repack the car.
But we got there and the signs were up saying the parking was full!
Thursday morning and it was crazy.
Not too sure what was going on but everyone and his dog were there!
Thankfully the rain had pretty much stopped and we were able to reload and make room for the back seat passengers to be more comfortable.
Eilidh took Shanni & Azzan to Te Papa for an hour while Nathan & I walked back into the city centre.
Nathan was wanting to get some things at JB HiFi and I had to get Eilidh’s ferry ticket from David.
It was a good excuse to stretch my legs.
I haven’t had much chance to walk in a while as we seem to be car hopping from one thing to another these days.
I was beginning to wonder why I had carried my umbrella as it was too windy to use it.
But as we were about to leave the Old Bank building the heavens opened again.
I was extremely glad of it then!

We had time to zip over to the supermarket and get some fresh bread before meeting up with the others.
They were very excited to have seen the Collosal Squid Exhibition.
It was caught by John Bennett and his crew on the San Aspiring.
This is the boat that Sebastian is going to be working on soon.

We still had plenty of time before we had to join the queues at the ferry so I pulled into Shell and fueled up on the way.
Better now than late tonight – we really didn’t know what to expect with the ferry being delayed and the road flooding etc at this point.
The check in lady said we were now scheduled to leave at 3:45pm so we lined up and waited.
Sure enough we were on board and away well before 4pm.
The harbour was calm.
But having experienced the Cook Strait many times before I was prepared for a rough crossing.
I had pre-warned the kids that if it got rough I was very likely to get sick and they were not to annoy me
Shanni very nicely got a sick bag in preparation!!

But we crossed without hardly a ripple on the water.
It was even calmer than when we came over on Sunday.
And that was in spite of the weather forecast of gales.

We were driving off the ferry just on 7pm.
I decided that I would not risk driving back through the Queen Charlotte Drive just in case we met slips and flooding there.
It was very dark and wet and I had seen a lot of slips from the previous rains when we drove around there on Sunday.
Best to be on the main road on a night like this!

Most of the flooding had subsided and we had a straight run through to Nelson.
We did hit a lot of very heavy downfalls though.
It made the driving really hard at times.
Especially when there was oncoming traffic.
The lights and the heavy rain would make it near on impossible to see.

We got to Frances & John’s at 9pm and thankfully it was dry enough to unload.
I had come prepared with ready to cook food so made a fast dinner and got kids to bed.
Azzan was very tired and couldn’t eat much and was snoring well before Eilidh & Shanni turned off the light.

A lazy day

We had a very blobby day today.
I stayed in bed till way after 9am.
Azzan & Shanni watched tv, ate late breakfasts, and watched more tv.
Nathan played on his computer up in his mezzanine bed.
I talked with Hanne throughout the morning.
I was feeling a bit under the weather.
My neck and shoulder were very achey resulting in a nagging headache that would not go away even with Panadeine.

Hanne made a delicious lentil soup for lunch.
Then I took the children out for a few hours.
We went to the Coastlands Mall looking for the pharmacy.
I found a zip-up checked top and some grey pants for Azzan in the Farmers sale.
He was delighted
Eventually found the pharmacy right down the far end of the mall.
Raced back to the car and headed out to the Southward Car Museum.
We spent a good hour or more there.
Nathan really enjoyed looking at all the cars.
The oldest ones dated back to 1895.

Azzan wasn’t terribly interested in the cars but he did enjoy the bent wobbly mirror that made you look weird.

Shanni bought a couple of t-shirts and Nathan bought a neck pendant.
Then we whizzed back to Countdown.
I did a whirlwind circuit and got the basics we needed.
Then dropped Nathan off with the groceries for Hanne.
I went down the road a bit further and visited Wendy & Oakley.
Azzan enjoyed playing with the baby.
Although he is not too much baby anymore – just turned one year old on Monday.
He is a wee cutie – Shanni took lots of photos of him before we had to leave just before 6pm.
It was beginning to rain.
Just as we were unpacking the car, Leeann & Cat arrived.
Cat loaded a small gas oven into our vehicle – she had sold it on TradeMe and needed it delivered to Nelson.

We sat around chatting before dinner.
I was feeling a bit yuck so had a short lie down.

Dinner was delicious.
It was good to sit and talk for a while.
Then the day was over and it was time for visitors to leave and us to head to bed.
The rain has set in.
It is southerly and cold outside.
I am hoping it will blow over before morning.

Our afternoon at the Parrot Ranch etc

After a few wrong turns we managed to find our way to The Parrot Ranch.

We were greeted by a very friendly guy who spent the next hour taking us on a tour of all their birds, reptiles and monkeys.

The Parrot Ranch started out about 11 years ago as a private collection.
But as more and more folk heard about it and it became a very popular place to go he had to turn it into a business.
It is now a registered zoo.

We began by meeting this cute wee Afghan gecko.

Then there were turtles or tortoises – whatever!
I get confused.
I think this was a box turtle.

Our tour guide was a really interesting guy.
He was very knowledgable and also very decorated.

There were birds wandering about us as we toured.
Of all the gorgeous birds there Shanni wanted to take home a rooster!!!

Major Mitchell cockatoo


The children enjoyed hand feeding them – very cute and soft wee critters.

Citron-crested Cockatoos
(the one above his elbow is an Umbrella Cocaktoo)

These are rare and endangered birds.
The owner is breeding them with the intention of sending breeding birds back to Indonesia so does not sell them commercially.
The children fed them peanuts – being very careful not to let them bite their fingers as they have a huge crushing power.

There was one larger bird in with them.
He is a hand reared White or Umbrella Cockatoo.
He was a real character, it was fun to watch him dance and raise his ‘umbrella’.

The Blue & Yellow Macaws

Shanni feeding one who insisted on hanging upside down to eat.

These baby lizards are over a year old

And they grow into this!

Scarlet Macaws
our guide was delighted to see that the baby in the background had just come out of it’s nest for the first time.

I took heaps more photos but too many would be boring so that is enough for now.
Suffice to say, if you are passing it is worth a visit.
Azzan enjoyed the wee monkeys best.
One was very pregnant so they are hoping she will raise this baby as she killed the last one.

By 3pm we were heading southwards.
I was getting rather drowsy and Azzan was getting rather stroppy from tiredness so when I saw the sign for Lindale Centre I decided to take a detour.
We first went to Kapiti Candies.
Kids heaven

Nathan with the $30 lollipop.
That would last quite a while!!

Shanni with her mouthful of fudge.

After we had all chosen our goodies – limit of one bag/item put on children!! –
we then walked over to the Kapiti Ice Cream shop.
I could’ve gone crazy with all the wonderful sauces and cheeses.
But we limited ourselves to one ice cream each.

Nathan & Azzan chose the Damson Plum & Creme Fraiche flavour.
Shanni had Cookies & Cream.
And I had Vanilla Bean & Espresso.
They were delicious.

From there we were only a spitting distance from Owen & Hanne’s.
We arrived around 4pm and entertained Owen until Hanne arrived back at 6pm.
Shanni & I helped her cook a delicious dinner.
Azzan was very tired so he was asking to go to bed around 7:30pm.
We were all in bed soon after 9pm.

Tuesday morning with Kathy

Despite the rain overnight the day dawned sunny.
Azzan spent all morning making books and creating things with and for Kathy.
After all our traveling the past few weeks he was very happy to have the time and the space and to be let loose with a lot of Kathy’s stash

Kathy had left the Lego out for him but he was not the slightest bit interested.
Shanni was though.
She spent hours building.

She made herself some glasses – very funky!

Then Shanni got into the paper craft too and started making a mosaic picture.

Azzan present Kathy with yet another ‘thank you’ work of art.

I slobbed it in my dressing gown till mid morning.
It was nice not to have to rush.
Nathan spent most of the morning reclining on his bed with his computer.

All too soon it was lunch time.
We ate well again.
Kathy – you are amazing

Azzan had made a sign to add to Kathy’s B&B man.
I think it said – ‘Welcome to Kathy’s place’.

Because Kathy was taking a photo of us for her visitors book I got her to take one on my camera too,

It was after 1pm so we had to hop on board again and head down the road.
We had a 2pm appointment to keep.

Thanks for having us Kathy – it was lovely to visit you in your new B&B.
We will return

A morning in Wellington

I enjoyed a much needed excellent nights sleep.
Until 6:30am that is, when I was woken by a text!
I decided to get up and do some internetting.
Nicola was up and gone to work soon after 7:30am.

We were still buzzing from the night at the ballet.
I was delighted to read some good reviews.
This one from the The National Business Review gave a great write up of two of the performances.
I had to disagree though.
They flippantly wrote off ‘Satisfied With Great Success’
That was the one we enjoyed the most!
I also found a review of one of the main dancers, Brendan Bradshaw’s photos.
He is a very talented man.
I will be looking forward to seeing more of his work.

I had a few things I had to do so set Azzan & Shanni to packing their lunches.
Nathan & Azzan carried all the gear up to the car.
We had to unpack everything the previous night because they have had a serious rate of car burglaries in their street.

We got to Queen’s Wharf in time to meet Eilidh off the Eastbourne Ferry.
I dropped her, Shanni & Azzan off in the city to go shopping.
Nathan & I found our way up to The Correspondence School.
It is a long time since I have been there but I still managed to locate it reasonably easily.
Although my front seat ‘back seat’ driver kept telling me that I was doing such a disastrous job at driving that he should be in the drivers seat and I should be navigating!

Things have changed immensely on the security front at the school since we were last there.
Now you have to enter your name on a touch screen computer at reception and add who you are wanting to visit.
Then they print out a sticky label for you to wear.
Then you wait for your teacher to come get you.

So Nathan did all that and we waited till Jan came to meet us.
She was a real character.
She is Nathan’s Latin teacher but also covers his Classical Studies.
She was a very enthusiastic lady who was enthusing about Nathans abilities and telling us all about her visits to Sicily.
It was extremely helpful to talk with her and find out what is expected of him.
He really is working blind as he has never done set studies like this before so had no idea of what was needing to do.
She then took us downstairs to meet his Science teacher.
Unfortunately his official Classics teacher doesn’t work on Mondays and his English teacher was away sick.
We are hoping to catch up with him on Thursday before leaving Wellington.

We then went to find the three shoppers.
Met up with them at The Old Bank building and had lunch at Starbucks.
The food was actually rather tasty.
Then we went to JB HiFi.
Nathan & Azzan thought heaven had opened
Shanni got pretty bored in there so we eventually got a few dvds and then left Eilidh to carry on her quest for shoes.
We headed north up the Kapiti coast road.
Stopped in at the Mana Marina and found Leeann on the yacht.
Azzan spread out on the bed and watched tv.
He was tired so it was a good break for him.
We chatted with her for a while and then Cat arrived back from work early.
It was nice to see her.
Nathan & Leeann talked Army stuff.
Cat played games with Skip but he wasn’t terribly interested in playing.
Until she started feeding him through the porthole

I had to prise the kids away after 4pm cuz we still had an hour or so more to drive up the coast.

We got to Levin just on dark.
Kathy had just arrived home from work.
She made a humungously delicious dinner which we all tried to do justice to.
But there was so much food we will have to try again at lunch tomorrow

Azzan spent the evening making a lovely surprise for Kathy.
It was a 3 dimensional Thank You card.
He did a superb job of it and it was all his own ideas and doing.
Every time I went near him he would cover it up so I couldn’t see.

There were wee lift up tags and a concertina tag on the front.

He had added several dimensional extras inside.

When the note was unfolded it read ‘Open the Door now’

and inside of that it said

And on that note I am off to bed.
The others are all long asleep.
There is rain falling on the roof.
Not too sure where that came from – the forecast is certainly not saying anything about rain until Wednesday.
It obviously is not listening to MetService tonight

Heading North & a night at the ballet

Sunday 22nd May

I was very glad I had set the alarm for 5:30am.
I would not have woke up otherwise.
Typical eh?
Every other day that I can sleep in and I don’t
Anyway, I had enough time to shower, make lunches and get the kids up so they could help pack the Terrano.
We were away soon after 7am.
It was a lovely still clear morning.
We hit fog coming over the hills and through Rai Valley – but that is not unexpected.
Then as we approached Havelock, Shanni asked me what the Queen Charlotte Drive was.
I told her it was another route to Picton, and she asked if we could please go that way as she had never been around there.
We had plenty of time so we did.
I have always avoided it because as a child we would drive around there in our combi van and the road was very windy and unsealed and dusty which nearly always equaled a chunder trip

There had obviously been a lot of rain damage from last weekend.
No wonder the council had been too busy to send anyone down to cleat our road!

It was a very pleasant drive.
Still windy, but now the road is sealed the whole way.
There was fog here and there which made it rather ethereal in places.

We arrived in Picton with plenty of time and were at the head of the Interislander loading queues.
We sat an waited for an hour.
Read books, played on internet, ate our lunches and then soon after 10am we were told to follow the line of cars and trucks onto the Arahura.

The crossing was very smooth.

Azzan was wanting to hang out in the kids area cuz he remembered it from previous times.
However, what he didn’t remember was that he has grown since then and the movies shown are for little kids.
And there was a sign saying that only under 7’s could play in there.
He was very disappointed and was at a bit of a loss for most of the trip – esp cuz the only channel being played on the other TV’s was Shortland St
Following Shanni’s instructions he went to find the info desk to see if they could change the channel.
After he didn’t return I decided to go find him.
I met him coming down the stairs with one of the ships crew.
He apparently had gotten a little lost and so had gone to the cafeteria and very nicely asked for some help.
I took him out on the deck to see the sights but the wind was too chilly and all the smokers were out there so we quickly returned inside and carried on exploring.
We found the info desk and discovered it was just around the corner from where we were sitting.
The directions Shanni had given took him up the stairs, around corners, down more stairs etc.
No wonder the poor wee man had gotten lost!!

We arrived in Wellington at 1:40pm.
We were disembarked very promptly.
I knew approximately where to find 2 Starbucks so we meandered around the one way streets till we were able to find one.
There was also a park just across the road so Nathan zipped over to get me a frappacino.
Then we wove our way around a few more streets and up the hill to find Nicola’s house.
She & Mark are living up n the hill above the ferry terminal.
The house has huge picture windows looking out over the harbour
Fascinating to just sit and watch all the boats, and trains, and planes, and vehicles.

We unwound for a while and then Nicola made dinner.
Azzan & I ate quickly and got ready for our night out.
We zipped down into the city to find a park.
I knew where the parking building was that I wanted to go to but in the evening light and traffic I got a little lost.
I knew time was getting on and I was a bit panicky about being late to the theatre cuz they advertised they would not allow late comers in till the first interval.
I eventually found a park at Te Papa.
We got instructions from a taxi driver and ran to the St James Theatre.
We had enough time to get a programme and get seated.
I had forgotten where I had booked us so it was a very pleasant surprise when the usher led us down to the very front seats.

The theatre is a hundred years old and is decorated very ornately.
Here is a Azzan with his programme in front of the orchestra pit.

We were attending the Stravinsky Selection performed by the Royal NZ Ballet company.
It was absolutely wonderful
First was Milagros, which was spell binding, mesmeric, and wonderful.
The raw passion was vivid.

Then after a 20min interval we watched Satisfied with Great Success.
That was wonderful.
The choreography was electric.

During the next interval Azzan took me upstairs to the gallery.
There were too many people though so we didn’t stop to look at much.
The final part of the show was Petrouchka.
It was completely different to the first two.
It was bright and busy and colourful.
The costumes and set were amazingly beautiful.

We popped across the road to get some drinks as we were both incredibly thirsty.
Then as we walked back along the street I spotted a familiar figure.
He was standing with his back to the street waiting for a shop to open.
I pointed him out to Azzan.
He went up and introduced himself to Greg Horsman – the RNZB ballet master.
What I love about Azzan is that he is not overwhelmed by the apparent iconic person he is meeting and he just talks with them naturally and normally.
Greg asked him which part of the show he liked best.
Azzan replied, ‘The 2nd dance.’
Greg seemed surprised and interested.
He asked him why?
Azzan replied ‘that there was a lot more action and interesting moves in that dance than the others.’
Greg agreed
I think he was relatively impressed that an 8yr old would be so astute in his assessment.

Azzan was buzzing about meeting Greg as we walked back to the car.
We got back to the house and found Nathan & Nicola still up.
Shanni was sleeping despite having been having a text conversation with me not long before.
I got Azzan off to bed and then enjoyed a cuppa with Nic.

Final show day/night

Tim & I went out for breakfast together.
We never get many opportunities to do that so it was really lovely.
I had a GrabOne voucher for the Orangerie Restaurant in the Monaco Resort.
It is a delightful spot.
We enjoyed a delicious relaxed breakfast.

We met a very interesting man and his 88 yr old father there as we were leaving.
Looks like it might be an ongoing contact.

We picked up Cat & Leeann’s venison salami that Alan had made from their deer.
On the way to pick up Shoshannah I showed Tim the property I am keen on.
Managed to prise Shanni away from Katherine – they had had a wonderful time together, as always
Then it was back to pick up M&A and get them to the theatre for their matinee performance.

Tim & I went back to the open home for a really good look which was great.
Then it was back to the house to pack up and get food organised for the show party.
We were chatting with Frances and John.
I was telling them what I had found out about the owner of the house I am looking at – Frances burst out laughing!
The ladies son is married to their niece.
Talk about 2 degrees of separation!

Nathan, Tim & Shanni went off to the movies.
Nathan wanted to see Pirates of the Carribbean 4.
I was most impressed that Tim agreed to go.
He normally avoids things like crowds & noisy expensive movie theatres
They all pronounced it a great movie afterwards although they were rather disappointed in the 3D part of it.

I went and picked up the kids from the theatre and took them to the studio for the party.
There was lots of noise and food.
Adrienne & I retreated to the back room to work on Anson’s business logo.
I got a text from Mahalia asking if she could go home with her new friend Lily, so I went outside to find her.
Lily’s mum & dad were waiting in the car.
I had been chatting with Jill over the past couple of nights while we waited for the girls.
We had actually began talking the first night and then found that our girls had become friends backstage but we hadn’t exchanged names.
When I went out to see them about Mahalia going home with them we introduced ourselves properly.
Jill & Craig exclaimed that they already knew me from Blenheim days.
We have a lot of friends in common.
More 2 degrees stuff!
Crazy small world eh?

I ended up with only 1 child to feed.
And he wasn’t that hungry.
So I made dinner for the movie goers, filled Azzan’s snack box and headed back to the theatre.
Jo & Mark came in to meet me so I could give them our collection of Suzys World dvds.
They were fantastic when Azzan was younger and he was more than happy to lend them to Jo’s boys.
He newest wee man is just a couple of weeks old.
Perfect educational curricula for post baby time

Tim & the kids shot back to the house for dinner and to pack his Safari.
They met me at the theatre and we spent a most enjoyable hour and a half sitting in the front row watching the final night of ‘Kiwiana‘ show.
Azzan was delighted to see us there and kept not so discreetly waving to us through out his dances.
Mahalia also gave a wee wave during one of hers.
It was a load of fun capped by the last dance of a dozen fathers dressed as swans dancing ‘Swan Lake’.
It brought the house down

The only adults allowed backstage were the co-ordinators.
Victoria kindly took these photos during the last night.

Azzan & George in their fly costumes for the ‘Trash’dance.

Getting ready to go one for the ‘Friends’ dance.

Azzan reading between dances.
Geronimo Stilton goes everywhere with him at present.
Thank goodness there are heaps of titles!

I love this photo of my handsome young dancer – thanks Tori

I managed to get the kids fairly quickly afterwards.
Took some photos of Mahalia and he new friend Lily before she left to go home with Tim.

They got home around midnight.
We packed up what we could and went to bed knowing that there would be no sleep in for us on Sunday.